Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Announces Over $2.8 Million in GO Virginia Grants

~ Funding to support regional economic development initiatives ~

Richmond – The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced today $2,872,931 in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) funding for 13 regional projects. The GO Virginia Board, which includes key members of the Governor’s cabinet, the General Assembly and the business community, reviewed and approved the 13 grant requests. These grants will add capacity to support existing companies in targeted industry sectors, implement innovative workforce development models, and develop networks of services to scale startup and second stage companies in the technology sector. The grant awards will leverage an additional $7,732,043 in non-state resources to assist with economic diversification throughout Virginia.

“Regional collaboration is vital to growing our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The projects funded through this round of GO Virginia will continue to support unique regional strategies, strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystems, build a strong workforce, and encourage innovation throughout the Commonwealth. We look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition.”

The GO Virginia grants will be used to implement projects that align with each region’s Growth and Diversification Plan. These locally developed plans identify priority industry sectors and strategies based on each region’s assets. Initiatives that advance strategies developed through the planning process are key in strengthening each region’s economy and creating better career opportunities for Virginians.

"GO Virginia has created an incredible opportunity for regions to think creatively around their future economies and move the building blocks in place to get there,” said Tom Farrell, GO Virginia board chair. “We congratulate these applicants for their work and commitment to the goals of the program—strengthening regional economies and helping businesses to create good jobs to support Virginia families.”

Since program inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 87 projects and awarded approximately $30.3 million to support regional economic development efforts. More information can be found about the GO Virginia program can be found here.

2020 ROUND ONE REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS

GO VA Region and Partnering Localities

Project Name


Project Description

 

Award

 

Region 1: Dickenson and Grayson counties 

 

 

SWVA Regional Agribusiness Opportunities

 

This position will meet a need identified in the plan to lead and coordinate business-development opportunities for the agricultural sector, a targeted industry identified by Region 1.

$100,000

Region 2: Floyd, Giles and Montgomary counties

Classrooms to Careers

Classrooms to Careers will connect high school students and teachers to local IT businesses. Students will have opportunities to participate in IT internships and job shadowing, while teachers will work with these local IT companies to refine curriculum and better align certification offerings.  

$180,000

 

Region 2: Alleghany, Botetourt and Roanoke counties and the Bedford and Vinton

Increasing Birth Rates of New and High-Growth Companies

 

The Advancement Foundation (TAF) is continuing a previously funded pilot program designed to increase the number of high-growth companies by aligning regional assets, accelerating proof of concept, offering comprehensive technical support, and growing a culture of innovation.  

$180,000

 

 

 

Region 4:Dinwiddie, Prince George and Sussex counties

 

 

Rowanty Technical Center Logistics Program

 

The Rowanty Technical Center will create a two-year global logistics program for high school students that includes forklift driver and OSHA-10 additional certifications.

$110,213

 

Region 4: Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties and the city of Richmond

VCU Pharmaceutical and Chemical Engineering Commercialization

 

VCU’s College of Engineering will develop a comprehensive strategic plan to support the commercialization of a new pharmaceutical manufacturing technology and develop a pharmaceutical engineering cluster in Region 4.

$100,000

Region 4: Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties and the city of Richmond

Developing Region 4’s Tech Talent Pipeline

 

VCU’s College of Engineering, together with numerous partners throughout Region 4, will create a comprehensive plan to better align the region’s existing tech talent educational programs and help expand the tech talent pipeline that the region needs now and in the future.

$100,000                             

Region 5: Cities of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk

Campus757

 

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council will develop a Campus757 business plan, and an online and offline platform to connect local job seekers with regional employers, using the previously funded CampusRVA project as a model for Region 5.

$95,838

Region 6: Essex, Gloucester, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties

Northern Neck Workforce Training Feasibility and Site Selection Study

 

The Northern Neck Planning District Commission, with partnerships from Rappahannock Community College, the Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board and local employers, will develop a blueprint of the region’s workforce needs to improve the quality and quantity of workforce training in the region.

$62,500

 

 

Region 6: King George and Stafford counties and the city of Fredericksburg

 

 

Fredericksburg Region Cyber and Smart Tech Entrepreneurial Development Program

 

Stafford County Economic Development Agency, in partnership with King George County and the city of Fredericksburg, will implement a test program using the successful RIOT framework to help explore the potential market for hosting a technology-based accelerator focusing on tech and cyber opportunities.

$75,000

Region 7: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the city of Fairfax

Centurion Innovation Hub

Refraction is developing the Centurion Innovation Hub to serve as a growth catalyst for the Northern Virginia innovation economy, based in the 33,000-square-foot co-working and event space located in Tysons Corner. Centurion will accelerate the development of startup companies with high-growth potential across innovative technology sectors, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G technologies, quantum computing and satellite-related technologies.

$1,680,750
 

 

Region 8: Augusta, Bath, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro

 

Scale-up the Valley

 

The Shenandoah Valley Partnership, in partnership with the National Center for Economic Gardening, will lead the Scale-up the Valley initiative to help scale-up existing industry. The program focuses on small, successful companies that are mature enough to have a strong, positive financial record, are growing or poised for growth and have successfully grown beyond the startup stage. 

$50,000

 

Region 8: Bath, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties and the city of Staunton

 

Industrial Hemp Initiative Phase 1

 

James Madison University is leading a study that includes an economic landscape analysis, an agricultural data gathering effort among Region 8 growers and processors, and a web-based information sharing portal to better connect researchers to practitioners and publish and propel the results of this initiative forward.

$53,630

 

Region 8: Augusta,  Bath, Highland, Page and Rockingham counties

 

 

Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Enterprise Center Feasibility Study

 

The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission will conduct a study to determine the feasibility of developing a certified, commercial, shared-use agricultural enterprise center.

$85,000

Total:

$2,872,931